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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Xue, Rui-de
item Barnard, Donald

Submitted to: American Mosquito Control Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2005
Publication Date: 9/1/2005
Citation: Xue, R., Barnard, D.R. 2005. Attraction, feeding, and repellency responses in mutant strains of aedes aegypti (diptera:culicidae). American Mosquito Control Association. 21(3):263-267.

Interpretive Summary: The use of insecticides for controlling mosquito-borne disease agents, such as West Nile virus, often conflicts with societal priorities. A solution to this problem is to develop controls that augment/replace insecticides. Genetically modified mosquitoes that cannot transmit disease agents to animals and humans are one example. Mosquito strains with different eye colors may be used in such cases because they are easy to identify; this makes it possible to determine their interactions and competitiveness with wild mosquitoes. In this study, scientists at the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL, determined if female mosquitoes with red or white eyes were competitive with wild mosquitoes (with black eyes) in the speed with which they were attracted to animals/humans and fed and if they were repelled by deet or citronella. Information from this study will facilitate the development and use of genetically modified mosquitoes in control programs to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne disease agents.

Technical Abstract: In a laboratory olfactometer, 12% of Aedes aegypti (L) females with a marker gene for red eye (re) and 0.7% of those with a marker gene for white eye (we) were attracted to odor from a human hand, whereas 54.1% of black (norm) eye color females were attracted. When a synthetic attractant blend was used in place of the human hand, the attraction rate was 7% for re, 0.3% for we, and 35.4% for norm females. On average, re females required significantly less time (76.8 sec) than we (189.6 sec) or norm (176.7 sec) mosquitoes, to locate, land on, and probe human skin, but there was no difference between mosquito strains in the time required for females to feed to repletion on a restrained guinea pig host. There was no difference among mosquito strains in the repellency of 15% deet, 6.65% deet, or 10% citronella, although mean protection times (h) for each repellent (5.2, 3.3, 1.0 h, respectively) differed significantly, regardless of mosquito strain.

Last Modified: 07/27/2017
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